How Boxing Started

Published: 06th October 2008
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Fist fighting or as we now know it, boxing has been about since as early as 3000BC, but formal boxing was first documented in the late 1700's. The ancient Greeks understood that pugilism or fist fighting was a game in which the Gods of Greece played; this was then implemented into the Olympic Games in 688BC. Back in 688BC there was one slight dilemma, they didn't have padded gloves, they merely used leather bound hand coverings sometimes filled with metal, which you can imagine led to some violent and bloody duels some even ensuing in battles to the death. Sadly fist fighting began to fade away after the fall of Rome on September 4th, 476AD, when the last Ruler of the Western Roman Empire was removed from power.

It wasn't until the 18th century it began to gain fans and sportsmen back to the game when it was transformed into a working man's game during the Industrial Revolution which completely changed the look of Britain's agriculture. The bouts and fights in the 18th and 19th century weren't well structured and came across more like violent street fights rather than the current day materpeices that we witness now.

The game was ultimately recognised as bare-knuckle boxing and the first victor was James Figg back in 1719, the only dilemma surrounding this was there were no regulations set out, so competitors could punch their opponents below the waist and sometimes bouts ended with death.

Fortunately this wouldn't last forever and in the year 1743 Jack Broughton a heavy weight champion decided to set seven rules for how boxing should be conducted, these rules ultimately adapted and became part of the London Prize Rules and the Marquess of Queensbury's Rules which are today's set standards. These regulations helped protect all contenders by enforcing the 30 second rule which meant if a man was down for 30 seconds or more the fight was finished, so ultimately a downed man could not be persistently hit. Jack Broughton also produced the first form of padded gloves which were called mufflers; these majorly cut the amount of blood and damage received from a jab.

Progressing towards modern times, one of the most influential and admired boxers of all time, and questionably the best of all time is Muhammad Ali who won the World Heavyweight Title three times during his career which makes him the only man to have done so in boxing history.

One of the most famous fights of all time also included Muhammad Ali and was staged in 1974 which was promoted by Don King and labelled as The Rumble In The Jungle which saw one of the largest upsets in boxing history as the underdog Ali faced defending champion George Foreman, in which Ali "danced" his way to triumph. Following this massive win Ali kept his form going as he went into the Thrilla In Manila bout against Joe Frazier and defeated him in a boxing match that Ali described as the closest he has felt to death.

Muhammad Ali altered the boxing world and left a legacy of distinction in the golden age of boxing.

Chloe is a dedicated novelist writing about how boxing first began on behalf of Setanta Online

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